In this article, we will be predicting how Play In Groups will go and who we expect to qualify for the Play In Knockouts.
Play-ins are just around a corner as the highly anticipated tournament is set to start from October 5th. With that said, Worlds 2021 will kick off with the Play-ins as wildcard hopefuls try to match the lowest seeds of the major regions to try and get into the Groups Stage. Let’s talk about the groups for a moment and move on to predicting who we see advancing to the best of fives.
- Read More: Predicting The Meta For Worlds 2021
Group A of the Play In is a relatively easy group depending on how you look at it. Sure, with Hanwha Life Esports and LNG Esports in the same group, the fight for first seed is going to be a tight race. However, the rest of the teams will have a rough time in the group with the LCK and LPL team in the same group. It will be an uphill battle for RED Kalunga, INFINITY, and PEACE.
Summary About The Teams in Group A
LNG and HLE are clearly the best teams going into Play In for this group. The very first match of the Play In will determine who potentially gets first in that group. It will be up to the rest of the three teams to fight for the last two spots.
Based on playoff performances, RED have looked better among the three teams in question. Their style of play is very adaptable to any meta as like many teams in the tournament, they are very much focused on capitalizing on opponent mistakes and a focus on teamfights. RED are versatile enough to play through any lane and Aegis, their jungler, controls their tempo. Given how the meta is likely to shift, it will suit them well although adapting to a new jungle meta often takes time.
PEACE will likely have the most tumultuous times given they have a sub top laner in Vizicsacsi. Despite how good he has been in solo queue, it will take him some time as a player to get used to the professional stage once again. Regardless of that, PEACE is still a very talented team with Babip being at the helm of it. Tally will certainly fit this team as his roaming style is very conducive in this meta. Expect Violet and Aladoric to be the focus for this team.
Infinity eSports is a hard team to judge. They have great performances domestically but in MSI, they completely fell apart against better competition. This time around, they have to prove they are better than what they showed in the past. SolidSnake is clearly their best player, and it will be up to him to set up his laners for success. Whether that happens is one thing to watch regarding this team.
LNG is basically the surprise of the LPL teams coming to Worlds. Their exploits at the LPL Summer Playoffs are well documented by now. Tarzan has clearly shown he belongs as one of the top junglers in the game. Ale has really stepped up as a carry top laner and the Light/Iwandy bot duo is stable as bot laners. Their question mark lies on which form icon lands on. That could be the difference between automatic qualifications and playing a best of 5.
HLE is the hottest team coming into Worlds. After missing the LCK Summer Playoffs, everyone wrote them off. Despite everything going wrong for them in Summer, they surged through the Regional tournament to come to Worlds. Deft and Vsta has finally clicked as a bot lane duo and were instrumental to making Worlds. Chovy is a monster onto himself and his current bootcamp record in EU West speaks for itself. The question with them is whether Morgan can hold his own in the top lane and if Willer can perform in his young professional career.
Prediction For Group A
In our opinion, HLE is going to be top of this group when Play In Groups wrap up. They are coming in with excellent form and Chovy and Deft are finally showing how good they are. Their main competitor is LNG and both the team’s strengths and weaknesses lineup with each other. However, we feel HLE’s strength outweigh LNG’s strengths. LNG is going to be the second seed in this group.
For the rest of the two spots, we are expecting RED Kalunga and INFINITY to grab them. PEACE’s top lane situation might hurt them with integrating a player into the system despite their style working well with the current meta. However, we will not be surprised if PEACE does make it in. RED is the clear 3rd best team in this group with how they operate as a unit. It’s hard to see them not making it. INFINITY is the real wildcard with their performances being an unknown quantity. Despite that, we believe the continuity with the team should get them over the hump to make Play In Knockouts.
Group B is one of the toughest groups in Play In history. This group is stacked with talent as all the teams are of similar strength. With that said, this group is going to be a cracker of a line of matches to watch. Beyond Gaming and Cloud9 are the favorites in this group but the other teams, Detonation FocusMe, Galatasaray Esports, and Unicorns of Love are not far off.
Summary of the Teams in Group B
Cloud9 had a turbulent Summer Playoffs of underperforming and losing to 100 Thieves and Team Liquid. They are better than what they showed in the playoffs. While the team has their issues, Zven and Vulcan are one of the best bot lanes coming from the LCS. They are a strong force to be a reckoned with in this group. Fudge has played well but sometimes the drafts of the teams leaves him on an island. Thus, C9 will have to draft better to fit his strengths into the team. Perkz and Blaber have to step up in the tournament from their Summer performances. If they can iron out their issues, they could be the best team in the group.
Beyond Gaming potentially might be the best team in the group. Often labeled as “Doggo and Friends” as a meme, this team is very bot side centric. Doggo showed he was a good ADC at MSI as a replacement, but he has taken a step forward in the Summer Split. Alongside Kino, this is a strong bot lane in the group. HuSha does a lot for the team as their jungler and is the catalyst for them. Maoan as a mid laner fits the meta with his roaming style while Liang can play stable top lane. The question remains as to what happens to this team when their bot lane fails to get a lead because that has not quite worked out for them thus far.
Detonation FocusMe is a hyped up team from the LJL. They have a super team in the LJL, and they really clicked as a team in the playoffs. With their full roster as Gaeng returns as the support, this team is poised to make a run into Play In Knockouts. Aria and Yutapon really stand out in this team as their best players while the others facilitate them. That’s not to say that the others aren’t up to the mark but the two mentioned stand out compared to their competition. Evi, Steal, and Gaeng are solid players in their respective roles. The question with them will be showing up when it matters. They have the capabilities to do it, and now it’s time to show they can.
Galatasaray Esports was a juggernaut in the TCL this split. They lost just four games in the entire split including the playoffs. That is insane, but it also shows how dominant some wildcard teams are in their regions. The player that stands out is Bolulu, their mid laner. He and Mojito, their jungler, pair up well to go to the bot lane to get that side of the map in their favor. Their skirmishing is very good, and they have the capabilities of snowballing a game out of control. That is pretty much what they did in the TCL the past split. Question is, can they keep it up with the meta shaking up a fair bit coming into Worlds. Only time will tell about this team.
Lastly, we have the Unicorns of Love, a team with a lot of history behind them. Coming into MSI, they were already being shoehorned into the Rumble stage but they under-performed and took an early exit back home. Now, coming back to Iceland with a different AD Carry, they hope for a different result. They looked fairly shaky compared to the other teams in the group in the playoffs. Like C9, they were not playing at their best or at least that’s what it felt like. With a meta shift, maybe we will see a better version of them in the tournament. They look like a similar team from MSI with just a change in ADC. It will all about preparation for them and whether they are up to the task to make it past groups.
Prediction For Group B
This is a hard group to predict for and honestly speaking, anyone can be top in this group, and we mean it when we say that. Any of these teams could catch lightning in a bottle and storm through the group. Especially because it is a single round-robin best of 1, so the next few days could be extremely volatile. We are expecting Beyond Gaming to top the group given how the team functions.
Cloud9 will definitely be one of the teams in the running for the first spot. However, they will need to be at their best to make it happen. This is a really tough group after all. We expect DFM, C9, and GS to be the 3 teams going into the Play In Knockouts. UoL have a tough road given how they performed in the LCL playoffs. Unless, they turn their form around and shock the world, they seem a step back compared to the other teams. Despite that, they are a strong team, and they could still make it in.
For the teams in this group, they want either first or second, as the second team will still feel confident facing a team from the other group in the Play In Knockout stage. It’s 3rd and 4th here that will be a tall order as you likely face LNG or HLE for a Groups Stage spot. This group is going to a lot of fireworks.
This year’s play ins might the best we will see compared to year’s past. The groups have lined well for a lot of competition, especially group B. We are hoping for a lot of exciting matches to start from the get go. Worlds Play In groups start with HLE and LNG kicking off the tournament.
For the Worlds schedule, visit the LoLEsports Website for the full schedule and timings.